Spring 2022

HEBREW

  • HEBR 1020 | Introduction to Modern Hebrew II | Zvi Giboa | MTWThF 10am - 10:50am | New Cabell Hall 183 
    • An introduction to the pronunciation, vocabulary, grammar, and writing system of modern Israeli Hebrew. By the end of this sequence students have mastered the core grammatical principles of Hebrew, along with a basic vocabulary of 1000 words, and they are able to read and understand simple texts and carry out simple conversation. Includes material on Israeli culture, history, and politics.
       
  • HEBR 1420 | Elementary Biblical Hebrew I Gregory Goering | MW 2pm - 3:15pm | New Cabell Hall 389
    • Second half of a year-long introduction to biblical Hebrew, using an innovative language-learning approach. Through communicative activities in an immersive environment, students acquire oral and aural capacities naturally, internalize the language, and efficiently develop the ability to read biblical Hebrew prose with immediate comprehension. Students complete Jonah by semester's end and master basic Hebrew grammar, syntax, and vocabulary.
    • This course is also listed under RELJ 1420.
       
  • HEBR 2020 | Intermediate Modern Hebrew | Zvi Giboa | MTWTh 11am - 11:50am | New Cabell Hall 066 
    • Prerequisite: HEBR 1020 with grade of C or above, or instructor permission.
       
  • HEBR 2420 | Intermediate Biblical Hebrew II | Gregory Goering | F 12pm - 2:30pm | Nau Hall 141
    • In this course, which continues and builds upon HEBR/RELJ 2410, students will develop facility in the reading and translation of biblical Hebrew. Students will review basic grammar, learn to analyze syntax, and build their working vocabulary. As a secondary objective of the course, students will learn to interpret biblical poetry. To this end, students will learn repetition, acrostic, inclusio, refrain, metaphor, correspondence, elision, compensation, and other poetic devices. By the end of the course, students will grasp the complex phenomenon of poetic parallelism.
    • Prerequisite: HEBR 1420 or equivalent, or instructor permission.
    • This course is also listed under RELJ 2420.

HISTORY

  • HIST 1501 | Jews and Humor | Caroline Kahlenberg | T 3:30pm - 6:00pm | New Cabell Hall 287
    • What makes a joke funny? What is the relationship between humor, tragedy, and power? In this seminar, we will investigate the role of humor in Jewish history from the Bible to the modern-day United States and Israel. Does a distinct “Jewish humor” exist, and if so, what makes it unique? Sources for this course include literature, films, folklore, religious texts, stand-up comedy, and new forms of online media.
       
  • HIEU 2102 | Modern Jewish History | James Loeffler | MW 2pm - 3:15pm | Rouss Hall 403
    • Jewish civilization is one of the oldest and most influential components of world religion and history. Yet the Jewish people never possessed a large empire and always constituted a tiny minority in numerical terms, even in ancient times. In the modern period, Jews experienced an equally dramatic fate, including two pivotal events at the epicenter of the twentieth century: the unprecedented catastrophe of the Holocaust and the improbable rise of the State of Israel. All along, Jews have repeatedly surfaced at key junctures in the political, intellectual, and cultural moments that define our world. In this course, we will seek explanations for this unique history through surveying the basic narrative of Jewish history from the sixteenth century to the present. We will focus on the political, social, religious, and cultural transformations of Jewish life and identity around the world. Major topics to be discussed include political emancipation and the Hebrew Enlightenment, Zionism and modern Jewish politics, antisemitism and the Holocaust, the divergent paths of American and European Jewries, and post-World War II relations between global Jewry and the State of Israel. We will also examine how Jewish history relates to modern European, American, and Middle Eastern history. This is an introductory course that assumes no prior knowledge of Judaism or Jewish history. We will read and critically analyze a variety of primary and secondary sources, including religious, political, and legal writings, artistic images and musical recordings, and scholarly studies. Our goal is to introduce you not only to the study of Jewish history, but also the related academic fields of Jewish Studies, European history, and world history. Equally importantly, we aim to provide you with a concrete sense of the methods and questions that professional historians use to engage the past.
       
  • HIST 2559 | Fascism: A Global History | Manuela Achilles and Kyrill Kunakhovich | MW 10am - 10:50 am, with sections | Gibson Hall 211 
     
  • HIEU 4502 | The Holocaust and Law | James Loeffler | M 3:30pm - 6pm | The Rotunda Room 150
    • This course explores the pursuit of justice before, during, and after the Holocaust. We will study global legal responses to the Nazi regime in the 1930s and 1940s and the impact of the Holocaust on international law from 1945 to the twenty-first century through the lens of pivotal trials and legal campaigns, including the 1945–1946 Nuremberg Trials in Germany; the 1961 Eichmann Trial in Israel; and the 2000 British trial of Holocaust denier David Irving. We will also examine the relationship between the Holocaust and post-1945 international human rights law and anti-atrocity law. Mindful of the postwar historical context, we will pose the question of whether these trials and others delivered justice—and to whom? In this vein, we will ask how the pursuit of legal justice after the Holocaust affects our understanding of law itself.

MIDDLE EASTERN STUDIES

  • MEST 3490 | Dangerous in Danger: Refuge and Otherness in Times of Crisis | Zvi Giboa | MW 5pm - 6:15pm | Cocke Hall 115​
    • In this course, we will examine how the current refugee crisis may be seen as a radical event of a scope that reaches beyond Europe and the Middle East. We will be looking at previously-shaped images of nation, religion, migration, and integration, as well as asylum, refuge, and citizenship. Ultimately, we will be using our newly gained knowledge as a tool to understand cultural inclusion and societal exclusion both "far away" and "at home."

RELIGIOUS STUDIES

  • RELJ / RELC 1210 | Introduction to the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament | Gregory Goering | MW 10am - 10:50am, with sections | McLeod Hall 1020
    • As an introduction to the Hebrew Bible (the Jewish Tanakh or Christian Old Testament), this course offers a kind of “study abroad” in ancient Israel. We will travel back in time to the second- and first-millennia BCE, in order to understand the Hebrew Bible in its historical, literary, religious, and cultural contexts. We will closely read stories, poetry, prayers, prophecies, laws, and wisdom texts from the Hebrew Bible. We will compare biblical texts to similar texts from ancient Israel’s neighbors in the Near East. And we will learn to apply methods modern biblical scholars use to read and to interpret biblical texts.
       
  • RELJ 1420 | Elementary Biblical Hebrew I Gregory Goering | MW 2pm - 3:15pm | New Cabell Hall 389
    • Second half of a year-long introduction to biblical Hebrew, using an innovative language-learning approach. Through communicative activities in an immersive environment, students acquire oral and aural capacities naturally, internalize the language, and efficiently develop the ability to read biblical Hebrew prose with immediate comprehension. Students complete Jonah by semester's end and master basic Hebrew grammar, syntax, and vocabulary.
    • This course is also listed under HEBR 1420.
       
  • RELJ / RELI 2024 | Jewish-Muslim Relations | Jessica Andruss | TTh 11am - 12:15pm | Maury Hall 104 
    • Jewish and Muslim communities share a complex history of interaction, spanning from seventh-century Arabia to the present day, and including instances of collaboration as well as moments of violence. Our course examines this dynamic relationship through documentary and literary sources. We focus on points of contact between Muslims and Jews in contexts ranging from battlefields to universities, from religious discourse to international politics.
       
    • RELJ 2030 | Judaism, Roots and Rebellion | Elizabeth Shanks Alexander | MWF 1pm - 1:50pm | Rouss Hall 403
      • What does it mean to construct one’s identity in dialogue with ancient texts and traditions? Can the gap between ancient and contemporary be bridged, and if so, how? Or do texts and traditions born of a remote time and place remain hopelessly irrelevant to contemporary life? This course explores these questions by examining the myriad ways that contemporary Jews balance the complexities of modern life with the demands of an ancient heritage. Our study toggles back and forth between the historical conditions that produced seminal texts and traditions, and the use to which they are put in the making of contemporary Jewish identities. The course surveys the sources of Jewish belief and practice, with the preliminary goal of understanding ancient and medieval texts and traditions on their own terms. A second component assesses how contemporary Jews respond to the givens of tradition, with particular attention to strategies of resistance, adaptation and affirmation.
         
    • RELJ 2040 | American Judaism | Asher Biemann | W 3:30pm - 6:00pm | Nau Hall 211
      • Description and explanation of the diverse forms of Jewish religious life in America.
         
    • RELJ 2420 | Intermediate Biblical Hebrew II | Gregory Goering | F 12pm - 2:30pm | Nau Hall 141  
      • In this course, which continues and builds upon HEBR/RELJ 2410, students will develop facility in the reading and translation of biblical Hebrew. Students will review basic grammar, learn to analyze syntax, and build their working vocabulary. As a secondary objective of the course, students will learn to interpret biblical poetry. To this end, students will learn repetition, acrostic, inclusio, refrain, metaphor, correspondence, elision, compensation, and other poetic devices. By the end of the course, students will grasp the complex phenomenon of poetic parallelism.
      • Prerequisite: HEBR 1420 or equivalent, or instructor permission.
      • This course is also listed under HEBR 2420.
         
    • RELJ 3052 | Responses to the Holocaust | Jennifer Geddes | Th 2pm - 4:30pm | New Cabell Hall 26
      • This course is also cross-listed under JWST.
         
    • RELJ 3170 | Modern Jewish Thought | Asher Biemann | TTh 12:30pm - 1:45pm | Gibson Hall 211
      • This course offers an introduction into the major themes of Modern Jewish Thought.
         
      • RELJ 3390 | Jewish Feminism | Vanessa Ochs | TTh 9:30am - 10:45am | Gibson Hall 241 
        • This is a study Jewish feminism, starting from its early days, when scholars, writers and activists, inspired by the American women's movement, began by exploring women's historical position in Judaism and questioning how the tradition could be expanded for all if constraints of gender could be eliminated. This year we will pay particular attention to ways that Jewish feminists have transformed the Passover seder and will create a feminist seder of our own.
           
          • RELJ 5559 | Jewish Bible Commentaries | Jessica Andruss | Th 2pm - 4:30pm | Campbell Hall 105 
            • The Jewish Bible commentary—a verse-by-verse explication of a biblical book, prefaced by a programmatic introduction—is an innovation from the medieval world that remains familiar to readers today. In this seminar, we will trace the development of the Jewish commentary genre from its origins in the ninth-century Islamic East (Geonic and Karaite exegesis) through its twelfth-century manifestations in the Christian West (the Spanish and French schools of exegesis). We will focus on the exegetical techniques of the commentaries as well as their cultural significance. We will approach the commentaries as serious treatments of the biblical text, as responses to rabbinic literature and institutions, and as engagements with parallel trends in Muslim and Christian intellectual history. Core course readings will come from the commentaries, which were originally written in Arabic or Hebrew and are available in English translation. Our aim will be to appreciate the craft of Jewish commentary writing and to discover what is distinctive about the interpretive project in varied historical circumstances.

          POLITICS

          • PLCP 3500 | Politics of the Holocaust | Gerard Alexander | MW 2:00pm - 3:15pm | Claude Moore Nursing Educ G120
            • This course examines competing explanations for why the Holocaust occurred. The class considers evidence for these theories, and compares the Holocaust to genocides in Communist countries, Rwanda, and other cases.